Our Birth Story

I’ve always loved reading other women’s birth stories. Every birth is so unique and it’s so beautiful to hear how babies choose to enter this world. I was torn about sharing our story on the blog but remembered all the stories that made me feel more empowered about giving birth. Hopefully this helps someone and if anything this post lives here for me and my memory.

Like most people we had a general idea of a birth plan. I say “general idea” because while I had a vision of how I wanted our birth to go, it was also important to me to remain open to whatever may come our way. My goal was to go as natural as possible. Keep the hospital room super zen. Labor at home for as long as we could. Wear my own hospital gowns that I ordered and implement all the hypnobirthing techniques we had learned.

On Thursday morning, March 11th, I was just over 40 weeks when I went in for my weekly doctors appointment. Since I was 2 days beyond my due date I knew she would do a cervix check and potentially want to discus induction as they really didn’t want me to go too long after 41 weeks. When she checked my cervix she informed me I was only 50% effaced and not dilated at all. I was hoping in the least they could do a membrane sweep but since there were no signs of dilation, that was out. I really dreaded the induction conversation, I really did not want to be induced. Did you know most first born babies come 10 days after their due date? I wanted to wait until that 10 day mark at least. I was disappointed I was only 50% effaced, I had been trying to do ALL the things I possibly could to get the baby moving but nothing was working. Reluctantly I agreed with my doctor to schedule an induction for the following week, though I remained hopeful I would go into labor before that.

I spent the rest of the day kind of defeated. The thought of the induction process really bummed me out. I kept telling our baby in my belly “if you come this weekend, we can do this on our time.” I’m so grateful for all the friends and family who kept checking in and promised to send prayers and positive energy our way that I wouldn’t have to be induced. Later that day Jayse and I went grocery shopping for the weekend, planned a nice dinner for the evening, and settled in to the idea that the baby still wasn’t coming for a bit.

Around 11pm I woke up with my first contraction. It was intense but I could still sort of go back to sleep. I did what they told us in the birth class and tried to rest as much as possible. With the next contraction I felt a small rush of water and ran to the bathroom. I couldn’t tell if my water had broken but the contractions got significantly more intense. I realized I should probably start timing them. I went from 10 minutes to 7 minutes fairly quick and thought it was a good time to wake Jayse up. “I’m pretty sure I’m in labor” I declared “but we don’t have to go the hospital yet.” Jayse got up and started getting ready and I proceeded to go from 7 minutes, to 5, to 3 minutes between contractions. “I think we should go to the hospital.” Jayse said. “No no we have time.” I insisted before another contraction hit me even harder and I realized it was time. “Okay… we have to go.”

At this point I wasn’t sure whether I was going to puke or poop and was doubled over in pain trying to breathe through the waves. “I can do anything for one minute.” I kept repeating to myself. Finally I threw on an adult diaper, Jayse grabbed a bucket, and I was able to get into the car. Luckily we only live 7 minutes from the hospital. We arrived somewhere between 12:30/1am and security wheeled me up to labor and delivery triage. The poor woman was walking so slow trying to be careful with me but all I could say was “you can go faster.” I was in so much pain.

The nurse that greeted us cheerfully asked me “why are you here?” I felt like by my state it should have been obvious but apparently not. “IM IN LABOR.” I yelled. “Okay can I have your member record number?” I was basically throwing my insurance card at her, desperate to find a bathroom still not sure which end things are going to come out of. She finally got me checked in and settled in a room. They hooked me up to the monitors and informed me the doctor would come and check to see how dilated I was before they could admit me to a delivery room.

Each wave was getting significantly more intense. I felt better when I could stand up, or use the bed to lean over while I squatted down but since they had hooked me up to the monitors I wasn’t allowed to get up and move. “I can do anything for 1 minute” I continued to whisper to myself as I counted my breaths through the pain. The doctor finally arrived and confirmed I was dilated. 8 centimeters to be exact. The nurse started the process of admitting me and ordered a COVID test. When she asked if I wanted the epidural, without hesitation it was a resounding YES. I really thought I could handle it naturally but at this point I was ready for some relief.

Before the Epidural hit.

Around 3am they finally got us into our delivery room. I vomited everything I had eaten the night before right as the anesthesiologist came to administer the epidural, poor guy. He told me it was going to take 15min to insert and I needed to remain as still as possible. Great, vomiting and having intense contractions and needed to be super still as he put a giant needle in my spine, not scary at all. Around 3:30am the epidural was in. I could finally relax and rest while we waited for my cervix to get to 10cm. I should note that Jayse was being incredibly supportive, trying to console me and reminding me to breathe. I kept telling him “I love you but please don’t touch me.” I was much nicer once the epidural hit. I could still feel the pressure of the contractions, but it was much more bearable.

At 5am the doctor came to confirm I was at 10cm. We decided I would start pushing around 5:30am. I tried to rest another 30 min but couldn’t believe this was all actually happening and I was this much closer to meeting our baby. I finally started pushing closer to 6am. The epidural definitely made it hard for me to get the hang of it at first. More or less it’s like you’re trying to get out a poop, but when you can’t entirely feel down there it was hard to know if I was even doing anything. Luckily the epidural started to wear off a bit and I got the hang of it. One nurse insisted on bringing a mirror in so I could watch my progress. While I was against at first it really did help. Not to mention it was wild to watch my baby’s head with every wave. Jayse was able to be pretty involved through the whole process. With every contraction he held my legs with the nurse and cheered me on while I pushed.

After about 2 hours of pushing I was starving. I made jokes I was pushing in hopes of getting a breakfast burrito, though it wasn’t really a joke I couldn’t wait to order one even if it did come from the hospital cafeteria. My energy was waning and the only thing they would let me have were ice chips and juice boxes. The nurse noticed I was running a fever, between pushing and because my water had been broken for so long it wasn’t uncommon for a fever to hit. However, it did mean they needed to get me on antibiotics and monitor the baby closer. The baby was doing fine and her heart rate was steady. Running on fumes I continued to push…

By 9:45am my fever had gone down but the nurse was becoming more concerned about the amount of time I had been pushing for. They were starting to talk options. Terrified of the vacuum or an emergency c section I must have mustered enough energy to push as hard as possible. Within minutes the baby was finally crowning and they called for back up. Suddenly there were 11 people in the room. Because of my fever the NICU team needed to come in to check the baby after delivery to make sure she was okay too. The amount of people had Jayse freaking out a little bit.

At 10:13am on Friday March 12th, Emma Jane made her debut. The placed her on my chest while she cried and Jayse cried and I kissed my baby in disbelief. I couldn’t believe I just birthed a tiny human. That this warm little being just came out of me. Unfortunately our time was cut short as the NICU team needed to check her out. I couldn’t take my eyes off them while they made sure she was okay, I just wanted my baby back. She was running a fever as well but otherwise she was perfect and back in my arms before they even finished sewing me up. (Proud to say I hardly needed one stitch and no, I did not poop myself!)

The rest of the day was a blur as we soaked in all our sweet baby snuggles. We were on such a high from the whole experience. All we could do was stare at her and kiss her little cheeks and say over and over again how perfect she is. I always rolled my eyes when people would say there was nothing like the love for your baby, but wow were they right. I’ve never known a love like this and am not sure if I could love anything more. As Jayse says, he feels whole for the first time and I’d have to agree. Who knew something so small could absolutely complete you.

Our family.

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